Why I wouldn't let my kids watch ABC Family

I don't like silence so much. Silence distracts me. I need noise to concentrate most of the time. I know this sounds backwards, but it's true. Anyone that's ever shared an office with me knows that if I'm trying to concentrate the earbuds to the iPod were close by.

It's not unusual for the TV to be on all night long because I fall asleep with it on most nights. If I can't go to sleep, I turn the TV on.

There's really no need when I'm here alone to put the earbuds in. I do turn on iTunes, but am so sick and tired of all the same songs. I am looking forward to the new Maroon 5 release to come out Tuesday for a little variety.

I've tried Spotify, but end up listening to the same thing over and over there too. I'm over it. In fact, I'm kind of getting a little anxious now with nothing playing and listening to the tapping of my keyboard as I type.

Since I've grown tired of music, I have gotten to where I play entire seasons of TV shows while working. Trust me, I'm working. Maybe it's just that I concentrate and function better while doing two things at a time. I remember getting in trouble while our teacher was reading to us in 5th grade because I was reading another book while she was reading. I was following both stories at once. When I sit down at night to watch TV, I have such a hard time not multi-tasking that I end up crocheting, reading or playing on my phone while it's on. I have a hard time just watching. I just need noise.

In the past 6-8 weeks, I've gone through the entire season of Mercy (an NBC cancellation from a couple of years ago), listened to most of the second half of the Grey's Anatomy season again, done a few episodes of Duets (that's the way to do it since watching it is so boring), and ended up landing on a couple of ABC Family shows.

Over a week or two, I did 22 episodes of Switched at Birth which is one show I don't recommend doing while working because one of the main characters is deaf and the show often goes silent when she signs to a friend.

Over the past week or two, I went through all 48 episodes of Make It or Break It. Some of you are probably saying you would be suicidal after either of these. Personally, I'm a strange dichotomy. Sometimes I can be a procrastinator (or maybe just have too much to do and other priorities bump it back until HAS TO be done time). On the other hand, on a "how you work test", I am a "Follow-Thru" and have to finish what I start. Rarely can I stop reading a book, even if I hate it. I MUST finish it, even if I stop reading several times and come back to it.

I know, Audra, get to the point. Stop rambling. Ok, here goes...

So, after watching all this ABC Family, I'm trying to find out what's so "Family" about it. That is, other than the likelihood of all their young characters ending up with their own families.

Of course, I do need to remind myself that ABC Family is ABC's kid sister. You know, ABC that can't have a single show without 1, no make it 3 or 4 gay couples in every show. And those couples seem to make out more than the married characters. Oh wait, is anyone actually married on their shows? Other than on GCB (now canceled) where one of the husbands is gay, so they have an open marriage?

To be owned by Disney (supposedly kid-friendly), I've always been rather confused. And sadly, a few of my favorite shows are on ABC.

On Switched at Birth, really quite unnecessary to the main plot of the show, the boyfriend of one of the girls (and best friend to the other) goes off and sleeps with a random girl he met earlier in the day because he's frustrated about a situation he basically got himself into. Unfortunately, that happens way too much in real life. If you're trying (and maybe they aren't) to have a network for "families", this isn't a good example to portray.

But way worse is Make It or Break It which just aired it's last episode after 2 and a half seasons. The show is about the struggles and determination that elite gymnasts face in order to get to the Olympics. At least it started out that way.

At first, I thought it was going to be ok. Candace Cameron Bure was preaching abstinence. She was trying to be a good example to her future step-daughter. She was resisting temptation herself. Then, to heck in a hand basket.

One major problem I had was the very hate-able character Lauren. She was spoiled, conniving, back-stabbing and always had to have her way. She always cried to her daddy to get her way and never had to pay the consequences. When something wasn't going her way, she would admit part of what she had done, but turn it around on someone else to get in trouble along with her. I'm sure it gave plenty of young girls lots and lots of ideas about how to behave--in the total wrong way. 

Then, at a party where all the teens get drunk, Lauren sleeps with her best friend's secret (or not so secret) boyfriend. Then rubs it in her friend's face any chance that she gets. I don't know why anyone would be her friend. And all she talks about all the time is how she and this guy do it, do it, do it. 

Along the way, the girl that had the secret boyfriend tries to seduce the guy into her room with only one intention, but becomes the wiser just in time.

At first, there is a strict no boys policy in their gym. But the further into the series, they all have boyfriends and spend less and less time in the gym. It got more unrealistic as it went, I think, because I think they really do spend more time training than portrayed. Their focus wasn't there like you hear about gymnasts.

Another girl gets pregnant after her first time, and to the show's credit, at least went off to live with family and have the baby. 

By the end of the second seasons, the one girl who is so devoted to her sport and sometimes has trouble seeing herself as pretty finally has a guy she likes. This is after she has a near career-ending injury that has her out of the gym for a while. Long enough for her hormones to kick in - yeah, in that way - and in her build. She even kisses her coach who she developed a crush on. At least that was handled well (except the snotty girl stealing the video and trying to make it a huge deal). 

Back to the boyfriend of the devoted one... Oh, except this boyfriend turns out to be bi-sexual. They break up because he's kissed three people (including the girl who wants all her friends' boyfriends), and another girl's boyfriend. Thankfully his indecision about what he wants from a relationship wrote him out of the picture, and they moved on without revisiting.

The last season - 8 episodes - has the girls going off and living in the Olympic training center dorms. Evidently the coach there has no rule against boyfriends because the three main characters are always with a boy. I would have thought they would have had less time for anything except training, but I'm clueless. After getting over this guy who isn't sure who he really likes, the one that has been so devoted to gymnastics the whole time finds her a really nice guy on the BMX cycling team. She tells him she's waiting - not necessarily until marriage which he seems respectful of - but until she gets a gold medal. Ah, to heck with that, she decides in the last episode, "I might as well."

Well, yeah, we know what all of you are really devoted to. Great example for aspiring athletes or just young people watching in general. There's no way I would let Paige and Peyton watch this at their ages. At all. And I'm sure that some parents are thinking, "oh, it's ABC Family, surely it's family-friendly." Think again!

Is there anything really clean for any of us to watch? 


Thomas said…